Difference WikiBiologyMedical

Difference Between Active Immunity and Passive Immunity

Main Difference

Immunity is the self-defense of the body against the foreign particles or pathogens that can make our body sick. As this harmful pathogen enters our body, the resistance provided by the body against them is the immunity of an individual. Immunity can mainly be divided into two major types; innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is the immunity that an individual has inherited from the parents, whereas the adaptive immunity is the immunity that establishes as the person grows up. Out of it, the adaptive immunity is of two types; active immunity and passive immunity. The active immunity reacts or provides resistance directly against the antigen or pathogen, whereas the passive immunity does not require direct contact with antigen or pathogen to provide resistance against these harmful elements.

Comparison Chart

Active ImmunityPassive Immunity
Working processActive immunity is the type of adaptive immunity that comes in direct contact with the pathogens, antigens or the foreign harmful elements.Passive immunity is the type of adaptive immunity that does not need to be in direct contact with the bacteria, pathogen or any other harmful foreign elements.
Starting TimeThe active immunity requires a longer time to develop as the body itself produces the antibodies.Passive immunity does rapid-action as the performed antibodies are injected into the body.
Effective TimeThe active immunity can lose for a longer time as long as the whole life.Passive immunity is short-lived, it can be active from some days to months.
Side EffectsActive immunity has the least side effects.Artificial passive immunity has more side effects to the body.

What is Active Immunity?

Active immunity is the type of adaptive immunity that comes in direct contact with the pathogens, antigens or the foreign harmful elements that can make our body sick. Furthermore, the active immunity can be of two types, it can either be naturally acquired, or it can be artificially acquired. In the naturally acquired active immunity, the antibodies are produced by the organism body itself, and they also form the memory cells, so it remembers that which antibody have to make contact with that specific type of foreign particle or the antigen attack. On the other hand, in the artificially acquired active immunity, antigens are introduced through the vaccines against the harmful foreign particles, and the body produces antibodies and the specialized lymphocytes from the vaccinated antigen.

What is Passive Immunity?

Passive immunity is the type of adaptive immunity that does not need to be in direct contact with the bacteria, pathogen or any other harmful foreign elements to provide resistance. Furthermore, the passive immunity can be categorized as naturally acquired or the artificially acquired. The naturally acquired passive immunity is quite similar to that of the innate immunity as in this the antibodies directly or indirectly are passed down from the mother to the offspring. When a mother passes antibody to the fetus via placenta or passes the antibody through the milk to the infant, this is the naturally acquired passive immunity. On the other hand, when the performed antibodies are introduced into the body through injection, then it is the artificially acquired passive immunity. In the artificially acquired passive immunity, the bodies produced by the other organism are injected into the person’s body.

Active Immunity vs. Passive Immunity

  • Active immunity is the type of adaptive immunity that comes in direct contact with the pathogens, antigens or the foreign harmful elements, whereas passive immunity is the type of adaptive immunity that does not need to be in direct contact with the bacteria, pathogen or any other harmful foreign elements.
  • The active immunity requires a longer time to develop as the antibodies are produced by the body itself, whereas passive immunity does rapid-action as the performed antibodies are injected into the body.
  • The active immunity can lose for a longer time as long as the whole life, whereas passive immunity is short-lived, it can be from some days to months.
  • Active immunity has the least side effects, whereas artificial passive immunity has more side effects to the body.

Comparison Video

YouTube video
Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White